Tag Archives: weddings

Weddings–Near and Far


La Cana Golf & Beach Club

As some of you know, I just returned from a week-long vacation with six of my friends. We escaped the fall weather by traveling to the lush tropical paradise of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Of course, we could have been holed up in a tornado bunker in Kansas and still had a great time together, but the DR proved to be infinitely more beautiful and relaxing.

We expected white sands and clear, turquoise-colored water, palm trees and plenty of rum punch. But one thing we didn’t expect was to run into wedding receptions everywhere we went. Whether at the beach club, a restaurant in downtown Punta Cana, or brunch at the Tortuga Bay hotel, we kept crossing paths with wedding parties. We swooned a bit at the romance of it all despite the fact that the seven of us–married a combined total of 110 years–were all carousing around the island without our husbands!

But that’s beside the point.IMG_6720

Seeing these weddings prompted a conversation about destination versus hometown weddings. Some of my friends were firmly in favor of local weddings. They preferred to invite large groups of friends and family and spare guests the costs associated with traveling too far. Some were willing to make an exception to the hometown wedding provided the destination held special meaning to the couple (they met there or got engaged there, or something like that).

Having planned my own wedding in Italy and attended several other destination weddings (Florida, Aruba, Vermont), I argued in favor of the intimate yet exotic destination wedding. Personally, I preferred a small affair over hundreds of guests, half of whom–like parents’ colleagues and distant relatives–I probably wouldn’t have known. And as a guest, I’ve always turned a destination wedding invitation into a mini-vacation, so that made the extra cost worthwhile.

But in the end, the most important element of any wedding has nothing to do with its location. It doesn’t even have to do with the guests, the dress, the cake, or the music. All that truly matters is that the bride and groom come together and make a commitment to love and honor each other until the end of their days. That HEA is not just for romance novels, after all.

Where was the last wedding you attended?






Wedding Cake Drug Mule and Other Memorable Moments

I’ve got weddings on the brain because I’m plotting out a new story that opens at a wedding.  Of course, I want the scene to be memorable, and maybe a little bit funny, so I’ve started to recall various weddings I’ve attended, and any mishaps or details that made it stand out in some way.   I’d love for you to share such a moment from you own wedding with me.  Who knows, it could end up in my scene.

I’ll start you off by sharing some personal details.  My own wedding had many memorable moments (like my husband lip-syncing with the Italian band), but the stand-out incident involves the wedding cake.  What could be interesting about a cake?  Well, this wedding cake almost didn’t make it through customs because the Italian officers thought it was a drug mule.

Now you’re thinking, WHAT?  Let me go back to the beginning.  It’s important to note I was not a young girl who grew up dreaming about my wedding.  My mom, however, did.  In fact, long before I had any serious relationship, she’d begun to collect photos and information about dress designers, locations, and cakes.  Her favorite cakes were made by Sylvia Weinstock Cakes.  She’d saved photographs of these cakes and, periodically, would look through them and swoon.

So, when my husband and I planned our wedding in Rome, Italy, it posed a problem.  I was too busy working (and not all that interested in the details) to travel to Italy before the wedding to make the plans.  My mom gladly volunteered on my behalf, reveling in the utter freedom I gave her to plan the wedding of her dreams!  Having found a wedding planner named Eletra (who looked like Olivia Newton John), she spent a happy week there and returned with everything finalized except the cake.  She had the audacity to claim there weren’t ANY suitable wedding cakes in all of Rome.  Really?  But I digress.  The truth was she was unwilling to give up on the Sylvia Weinstock cake.  Thus, she and I traveled to Ms. Weinstock’s bakery in New York to discuss this problem. IMG_2107

The solution?  Not only did my mom buy this extravagant cake, but she also purchased an airplane ticket for it!  I’m NOT lying.  They actually loaded several boxes (layers and flowers were all separated) into a seat.  Mind you, it came after my mother had flown over, because our entire wedding party arrived several days ahead of the wedding to partake in a series of pre-wedding events we’d planned for all the guests to enjoy.  I still giggle when I think about whomever was stuck sitting beside my cake.

Anyway, since the cake arrived unaccompanied, my step-father had to go to the airport to retrieve it.  He showed up just in time to stop the customs officers from cutting it in half.  They thought were were using it to ship drugs into the country because they couldn’t believe any person on the planet would be crazy enough to ship a wedding cake from New York to Rome.  It took an extra day, and a lot of talking, to convince them not to tear it apart.  Thankfully it made it to the reception in tact and on time.

Naturally, the cake became THE topic of conversation among the guests.  Fortunately, my mother took it all in stride, and was somewhat redeemed by the fact that (a) it was truly spectacular looking (those flowers are all edible, icing), and (b) the cake itself tasted fantastic (each layer was a different flavor, including a chocolate hazelnut layer…YUM).  Of course, time and age makes us both realize how utterly over-indulgent this was, but at the time my mom just couldn’t let go of that part of her dream!  And I’m grateful to her for planning a flawless, beautiful wedding day that everyone fondly remembers.

Now that I’ve shared my story, tell me what is the standout memory from your wedding?  It can be big or small, funny or terrible, romantic or not…but something you will never forget.

Can’t wait to read them…and I’m serious, if one fits my story, I’m going to use it!